Earlier this year, Christian author Tony Campolo was canceled as a speaker at a national convention called Youth Congress ’85. Some of the event’s organizers were concerned about statements Campolo made in one of his books, statements some critics have called heretical.

Because Campolo is a well-known author and one of the most popular speakers on the evangelical circuit, CHRISTIANITY TODAY is publishing a three-part special report. Part I explores the controversy surrounding Campolo’s views, his cancellation from Youth Congress ’85, and a planned reconciliation process. In Part II, beginning on page 32, Campolo explains his beliefs in an interview with CHRISTIANITY TODAY Senior Editor Kenneth S. Kantzer and Associate Editor David Neff. In Part III, beginning on page 36, Kantzer puts the controversy into perspective.

The cancellation of a popular Christian speaker from a major youth convention has given rise to questions about heresy and just treatment. In an attempt to resolve the situation, the Christian Legal Society (CLS) has asked eight prominent evangelical leaders to serve as mediators.

CLS executive director Sam Ericsson said his group will “coordinate a process of reconciliation” between the canceled speaker, Eastern College sociology professor Tony Campolo, and some of his critics who have stated or implied that Campolo’s theology is heretical. Ericsson said most of the persons asked to serve as mediators expressed an interest but were awaiting details on what would be expected of them before making a commitment.

The controversy began earlier this year when a group of Evangelical Free Church pastors in Illinois raised a stir over Campolo. He had been scheduled to speak at Youth ...

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